19 MAY, 2021

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Twitter is reportedly working on “Twitter Blue,” a subscription service that would cost $2.99/ month. There goes the answer to all the “how is this app free?” questions.

In today’s edition:

  • Delays over RoW
  • A busy year for Future Africa
  • Ask an Investor

Why are Nigerian states dragging their feet over Right of Way?

According to Nigeria’s ambitious broadband plan, the country will move its broadband penetration to 90% by 2025. It is a plan that needs a lot of things to fall into place for it to be achieved.

One of such things is infrastructure and the amount it costs telcos to lay fibre optic cables around the country. Those fibre cables cannot be laid without Right of Way (RoW) fees, which are determined independently by states.

RoW fees have always been expensive but last year, Nigeria’s 36 state governors agreed to a standardised fee of ₦145 per linear meter in an attempt to speed up broadband penetration.

In the one year since the agreement, things have not exactly gone to plan with only seven of the states going on to apply the new fees. 29 other states still charge top money for RoW.

Benue, Ogun and Lagos charge ₦2,500, ₦4,000, ₦750 per Linear Meter, way above the rates they agreed to

Will an MoU change things? This week, the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) is looking at signing a Memorandum of Understanding with states to bring down RoW charges. The big question is, will a new agreement force the states to finally implement the new rates?

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Future Africa’s blitz

As far as prolific VC firms go, Tiger Global, which has averaged a deal every day of 2021 is in a clear lead. But in Nigeria, the Future Africa Collective, an investment syndicate that is barely two years old has made impressive progress as well.

While Future Africa made a total of 14 investments throughout 2020, it has already closed 13 deals in 2021 and has surpassed the last year’s performance for amount invested.

While it has not provided a complete list of the startups it has invested in, we know it backed Termii, Lami, Ongair, as well as Stitch, a South African company building APIs for open banking.

Per Alex’s report, Future Africa’s initial investments were centered around Nigerian startups like 54Gene, Bamboo and Eden, but the firm is taking a more pan-African approach. Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa are now represented on the firm’s portfolio map.

Read more here.

Ask an investor

Daniel’s “Ask an Investor” series focuses on investors in Africa — investment Banks, sovereign wealth funds, private Equities, venture capitalists and every other class of investors, explaining why and how these investments happen by talking to the people who make them happen.

This week, he spoke to Meghan Curran, the West Africa director for Acumen, an early-stage non-profit impact fund that invests in companies whose products and services enable the poor to transform their lives.

Acumen has invested over $40 million in startups across West Africa and its operations in Africa account for about 30% of Acumen’s global footprint.

Meghan Curran’s words: I would say the thing that’s consistent across any of the companies we look at is really wanting to get to know the entrepreneur. The assessment of the entrepreneur or the founding team is on two or three different levels. The first is values alignment. We’re not trying to impose Acumen’s mission or social objectives on an entrepreneur.

Read more here

EVENT

On Friday, May 28 at 11 am, we will be discussing with a few CTOs and CIOs on a matter that’s become super crucial in the past year – How can companies protect their customers from cyber fraud?

This episode of TC Live will try to answer the following questions: What should CTOs and CIOs know about improving their cybersecurity measures?

What are the implications for companies that don’t? How can companies make cybersecurity part of their culture? What do consumers need to know about protecting their data, what’s their role in not getting hacked?

We’ll unveil our speakers soon, but meanwhile, register here to book a slot early.

This event is brought to you in partnership with UrbanUbuntu and AVA Security.

Note: By clicking on the registration link for this event, you’ve indicated interest in the event and will get an invite to attend. To opt out, please ignore the invite.

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Written by – Olumuyiwa

Edited by – Edwin Madu & Koromone Koroye

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Olumuyiwa Olowogboyega | Author